posted on Mar, 9 2003 @ 05:47 PM
BUSH: CLAP ME OR NO EU SPEECH
Mar 8 2003
By Paul Gilfeather
GEORGE Bush pulled out of a speech to the European Parliament when MEPs wouldn't guarantee a standing ovation.
Senior White House officials said the President would only go to Strasbourg to talk about Iraq if he had a stage-managed welcome.
A source close to negotiations said last night: "President Bush agreed to a speech but insisted he get a standing ovation like at the State of the
"His people also insisted there were no protests, or heckling.
"I believe it would be a crucial speech for Mr Bush to make in light of the opposition here to war. But unless he only gets adulation and praise,
then it will never happen."
Mr Bush's every appearance in the US is stage-managed, with audiences full of supporters.
It was hoped he would speak after he welcomed Warsaw pact nations to Nato in Prague last November. But his refusal to speak to EU leaders face-to-face
is seen as a key factor in the split between the US-UK coalition and Europe.
The source added: "Relations between the EU and the US are worsening fast - this won't help."